Review Summary: Weezer doing Weezer, in the sun.
Weezer's fourth self-titled record, is a resounding trumpeting return to form just like 2014's "Everything Will Be All Right in the End", White is also Weezer's first true concept album since Pinkerton. Rather than the ambitious adaptation of Madame Butterfly, Rivers instead goes for a three-act tale of geek-meets-girl, followed en suite by boy-gets-heart-torn-to shreds. It is a very safe concept for a Weezer record.
In 2014, after a long tiring attempt at forming a bid for mainstream pop crossover, "Raditude", "Red Album", I'm looking at you. Weezer faced a tired and disappointed fanbase. Then seemingly out of nowhere, "Everything Will Be All Right in the End" happened and it gave Weezer fans something long thought to be extinct, HOPE, a hope that Weezer could once again write good, catchy, guitar driven Alt Rock with Rivers trademark nonsensical lyrics, and boy did it deliver.
Here we are in 2016, two years after EWBAITE, here Weezer telling us that it was no fluke or accident, they are back and ready to talk about the stages of relationships, with happy-go-lucky melodies behind the story.
"California Kids" opens the album with a smattering of triangle notes, plucky guitar lines, and Rivers smooth voice over the summery tune. Despite Rivers proclaiming "Its gonna be alright if you're on a sinking ship", but those "California kids will throw you a lifeline". Speaking from experience are you Rivers? They seem to have thrown you quite the lifeline the last two years. Also nice little shout out to Charles Darwin here too.
"Wind in Our Sail" and "(Girl We Got A) Good Thing" find their energy in hopping keyboard plunks, rather than sharp guitars riffs. Apart from a criminally short, Thin Lizzy-esque solo on the latter track, Cuomo's riffing barely gets a note in edgewise here, its a shame really, those tracks could have used more of a cutting guitar edge.
"King of the World" is a punchy love letter from Cuomo to his wife Kyoko, full of intimate references to her childhood and upbringing and even her fear of airplanes, where he offers her"We could ride a Greyhound all the way to the Galapagos". "L.A. Girlz" is supposed to be dorky or nerdy, because he lacks the language to tell the girl he likes her, the track also takes the rubbery guitar work on the likes of "El Scorcho" and turns it into somethin bright and shiny and new, albeit more than a little recycled, as we have heard it before.
"Thank God For Girls," the album's contentious lead single. A close look shows us that Cuomo is having quite a bit of fun here, Through a combination of subtle homoeroticism (fantasies of coming home to a lady with a "big fat cannoli to shove in your mouth"), female empowerment "She's so big/She's so strong"
"Do You Wanna Get High?" rights the decade-old wrongs of "We Are All On Drugs" with its (almost too) spot on Pinkerton impression. Need I say anymore? A definite standout song.
"Endless Summer" and "Summer Elaine and Drunk Dori" have a very 'Blue Album' feel to them, touching back to their roots and feed off your nostalgia. But isn't that why we listen to Weezer these days, for the nostalgia? For the belief, album after album that they can write a great album again, that they can once again become the Weezer we all know and love. They may never reach that goal but this is a damn good way to start the journey.